If you’ve been doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) for some time now you have probably heard people saying the word Oss during class. This word is widely used all over the globe in BJJ classes but only some people know the actual meaning.

Oss Meaning

Oss is a term that is often used in a variety of ways, ranging from paying respect to greeting people to acknowledging that you understand a demonstrated technique or sequence. 

To put it simply, there is no single meaning and the word can be used in a variety of ways. I know this may seem confusing at first but the meaning of the word will depend on your gym’s behavior and your current situation.

How do you pronounce Oss?

You might have heard two different variations and this may lead to confusion as to which would be the correct one. 

Some people may pronounce it as Oss (oh-sss) and some may pronounce it as Osu (oh-suu)

The traditional and more generally used pronunciation is Oh-sss

When should you say Oss

The word is quite versatile so don’t overthink it and feel like you’re going to use it incorrectly. But also don’t be that person in the gym who overuses it and makes it the primary word in their vocabulary. Here is a list of situations where you can say it:

Greeting Someone

You will notice in many gyms today that BJJ practitioners may greet each other with a head nod or fist bump while saying “Oss.”

Acknowledging something

When someone is showing a technique BJJ practitioners will use the word Oss to acknowledge they understand the technique they have been shown. 

As a Sign of Respect

Prior to rolling with somebody or even after a roll with someone you may bump fists and say the word “Oss.” 

The Term Oss is widely used and its meaning can vary depending on the context in which it is used. The more you partake in BJJ the more you will understand when and how to use it. Ultimately, using the term can create a sense of community and mutual respect among BJJ practitioners, and it’s a valuable aspect of the sports culture. 

By Emil

Emil is a currently active professional MMA fighter. He was ranked 1st in the Aus/Nz region in his weight class as an amateur, with the most KO’s, and is now actively working up the professional ranks.

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